Alaina McMillan (5’6”, PG, St John’s College HS/Hamilton Transway, 2018) of Brantford, ON is a name that is starting to emerge as a prospect worth keeping an eye on.
On the court or off, McMillan believes that putting her all in whatever she does, is the only level she can commit to, especially when is comes to playing the game that she loves.
“I’m a very hard working girl,” said McMillan. “I put 100% whatever I do, whether it be with school or an activity outside of school, friends or relationships. Especially when it comes to basketball, I feel like I always put in all of my effort and leave it all out there.”
And, as history would dictate, those who work tend to find success in much of what they do. Which is what makes McMillan an intriguing prospect.
As a Point Guard, she has begun to realize some success at the high school and rep team levels. Last high school season, she was a significant contributor to a St John’s Eagles team that caused opponent’s fits due to their strong Guard play, earning her team a OFSAA (Ontario high school) AAA Silver Medal. She also making her name on the rep scene as her Hamilton Transway JUEL Prep team won their championship last Spring.
Along with her speed, constant hustle that is always readily available. As a more traditional Point Guard, she incorporates those elements into her game, optimizing her contribution to each game and making those around her better.
“I think I see the court very well. I have a good I.Q. I know how to get my teammates open”, said McMillan, who said that those traits along with her hustle, will result in success in one form or another “Because I know that it will benefit me and my team in the long run.”
On the other side of the ball, the theme of hard work and hustle show themselves again as well. Including stepping in to take the occasional charge, she has found that doing the little things as well as reading the game are key elements of what she is trying to bring to the table with her defense.
“I always have my hands up and my feet moving,” said McMillan while giving a bit of a demonstration. “I am always anticipating the pass and think I am really smart on defense.”
A young McMillan has a couple of years to continue to not improve upon the things she does well, but also tighten up on some elements of her skillset that she is targeting.
She’s a fan of NBA’s Stephen Curry. In playing a similar position as Curry, McMillan admits to admiring elements of his game, and wanting to meld it with hers. Drawing on similarities that both have in relation to the others on the court, she has pin-pointed a couple of keys to Curry’s game that she has started to include into her workout sessions as well as her way of thinking.
“His confidence off the shot,” admitted McMillan “I think I need to improve mine.”
“I kind of look to him with how he gets himself open and the moves he uses to get his shot off. Because I am lacking in height, I need to be able to make those shots because the rim will always be open for me.”
Pulling 80s and 90s in her classes at St John’s high school helps to round out the picture of how hard McMillan works. Studying and getting her assignments in on time are a priority for her right now a she is recognizes the fact that good marks are a must to go among with any success she has on the court. She is keeping all her options open at this point as she is still unclear of which career path she would like to take. She has given some thought to becoming an interior designer, but yet hasn’t ruled out a life in the sports profession such as a physiotherapist or a trainer because of her love her favourite subject in school right now, Physical Education. In that light, she can be found volunteering her time at local basketball camps, to further nurture her love of being in the gym and involving the game she loves.
She has aspirations of playing university ball at a school that provides a right fit for her, whether in the NCAA or in the CIS. And with her close family ties, is hoping to do so relatively close to her Brantford, ON home so that family and friends will have the chance to watch her play.